Although perhaps best known as a manufacturer of consumer electronics, the Japanese conglomerate Sony is also an entertainment company which owns music publishers, movie studios and television networks around the world. One of those TV networks is Animax, a channel dedicated to anime, originally launched in Japan in 1998, spreading to other markets in Asia, Europe and Latin America during the next decade.
|Animax logo, used since 2010.|
As anime fans are well aware, it is hard to sustain commercial interest in the genre outside Japan. The local Animax editions for Latin America and Portugal have been shifting towards Western drama programming for a few years, and last May they dumped the Animax name to take on new identities. Interestingly, rather than launching a new global brand, Sony have launched two separate new brands. In Latin America, Animax was replaced by Sony Spin on May 1, while the Portuguese version became AXN Black on May 9. Both brands are extensions of two existing established brands, Sony Entertaínment Television and AXN.
The contents and target audiences of the two new channels differs a bit, which perhaps explains the different names. While Sony Spin is geared towards something called the "Millenium generation" with several teen series, AXN Black seems to be dedicated to "quality" drama with an international flare. The difference is also manifested in the on-air graphics.
The screencaps below come from launch promos for Sony Spin.